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What stretches should I do while I'm pregnant?

Definetly! Depending on what trimester you are in and the adivce from your doctor... Yoga maybe for you. There are three versions of Warrior Pose you can do as a great stretch everyday. Various forms of yoga like Kundalini can help with breathing and meditation, Iyengar focuses on posture, alignment and balance. I hope this helps and enjoy your pregnancy!

Fold a thick blanket or two into a firm support about six inches high. Sit close to one edge of this support and stretch your legs out in front of your torso on the floor.

Cross your shins, widen your knees, and slip each foot beneath the opposite knee as you bend your knees and fold the legs in toward your torso.

Relax the feet so their outer edges rest comfortably on the floor and the inner arches settle just below the opposite shin. You'll know you have the basic leg fold when you look down and see a triangle, its three sides formed by the two thighs and the crossed shins. Don't confuse this position with that of other classic seated postures in which the ankles are tucked in close to the sitting bones. There should be a comfortable gap between the feet and the pelvis.

As always, you should sit with your pelvis in a relatively neutral position. To find neutral, press your hands against the floor and lift your sitting bones slightly off the support. As you hang there for a few breaths, make your thigh bones heavy, then slowly lower your sit bones lightly back to the support. Try to balance your pubic bone and tail bone so they're equidistant from the floor.

Either stack your hands in your lap, palms up, or lay your hands on your knees, palms down. Lengthen your tail bone toward the floor, firm your shoulder blades against your back, but don't overarch your lower back and poke your lower front ribs forward.

You can sit in this position for any length of time, but if you practice this pose regularly, be sure to alternate the cross of the legs. A good rule of thumb: On even-numbered days, cross the right shin in front of the left, and on odd-numbered days, do the opposite. Alternately, you can divide the practice time in half, and spend the first half with your right leg forward, and the second half with the left leg forward.

Rick Olderman
Physical Therapy
Here are some stretch exercises that are recommended during pregnancy:
  • The tensor fascia lata (TFL) and quadriceps stretch exercise stretches the muscles that attach to the front of the pelvis, which affect pelvic tilt and rotation and contribute to back, pelvic, and sciatic pain. The TFL & quadriceps stretch will also develop lower abdominal strength to resist pelvic rotation caused by tight thigh or pelvic muscles. During pregnancy, it is important to move slowly because the pelvic bones are looser and can rotate more easily. Be sure to stabilize your pelvis.
  • The all-fours rocking stretch exercise passively restores normal hip and spinal mechanics and feels great for the lower back when performed properly. Move only in a pain-free range of motion. Depending on how far along you are, this exercise may not be possible or advised by your physician. Consult your doctor first. You may find that he or she prefers a modified version.
  • The forward-bend stretch exercise relieves strain to the lower spine by stretching tight back-extensor muscles that contribute to painful movement habits. These muscles get tighter and tighter as lumbar lordosis increases due to your growing baby.
Fixing You: Back Pain During Pregnancy: Self-treatment for sciatica, back pain, SI Joint or pelvic pain, and advice for abdominal strengthening post partum.

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Fixing You: Back Pain During Pregnancy: Self-treatment for sciatica, back pain, SI Joint or pelvic pain, and advice for abdominal strengthening post partum.

Changes happen during pregnancy that not only lead to back pain during pregnancy but also afterward. Many of these changes affect the shape of the spine and tilt of the pelvis. Both of these...
Yes, there are a lot of great stretches. One is the LADY BUG REACH. While standing, place your fingers on you shoulders and raise your elbows to your sides, shoulder height. As you inhale, reach out with one arm, making an arc with your hand. Follow the moving hand with your gaze. Focus on opening your chest. Exhale and bring your fingers back to the top of your shoulder. Alternate sides, five times each arm. Check out our YOU: HAVING A BABY DVD it has lots of stretches for each trimester.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.